My art group visited the Manchester Open Exhibition to view ‘Everyone’s An Artist’ in March 2020 at Home. Home is a centre for contemporary theatre, film, art, music, poetry and spoken word. This exhibition was a celebration and reminder of the creative talent within Greater Manchester inclusive of all nationalities, cultures and perspectives.
We got to the exhibition an hour early so sat in the cafe to discuss the exhibition and questions for this unit with our art teacher whilst enjoying cake, pastries and hot chocolate. It was a quiet Sunday morning in the cafe with an aroma of ground coffee and warm cinnamon along with a hum of visitors chatter.
We were waiting for the exhibition doors to open and once in the gallery we viewed various pieces of art including paintings, drawings, creative fabric and wool pieces, contemporary art, sound and visual arts as well as creative paper and glass pieces. I was really interested in the art pieces made with wool and fabric. Most of our work for this Award has been a combination of embroidery (using wool for texture), batik and silk painting so I was particularly drawn to the artwork using fabrics and wools.
‘The Spring Story (398)’ by Mateusz Beznic was a colourful canvas painting, the colours merging together leaving a tie-dyed effect. The paint was streaked in places making the spring theme realistic and vivid.
‘Artists Palette (89)’ by Susan Scudder Harrison was a detailed piece made with wool using crochet, precise in shape and bold in colour. The individual hexagons looked like coloured honeycomb.
‘Sun Over West Macdonnell Ranges (274)’ by Beverley ColeClough was a very similar piece to the landscape painting we all did as part of this Award.
‘Layered Landscape (498)’ by Sharon Mary Howarth reminded me of the beach and looked like pieces of pottery.
‘Welsh Terrier (499)’ by Faith Carter was another 3D fabric art piece that looked small, cute and very intricate in its detail.
‘Adam Lost in a Concrete Jungle (478)’ by Nicula Cezar seemed to display nature’s battle with cities and construction, possibly even showing the human evolution from wood to concrete. There could have also be some reference to religion by the use of the name Adam and the visual of a tree.
‘Untitled 85, Trap and Snare Series (522)’ by Alan Baker was an example of art I found confusing; it really didn’t speak or appeal to me. I didn’t understand what it may have been representing and even the title gave me no clues. I respectfully just viewed this as individual expression.
‘Fernery Foxes (53)’ by Helen Musselwhite was my third favourite piece of the exhibition! I loved the use of paper and how the curls, folds and colours were so precise in making it look really beautiful. The 3D effect gave the piece a lot of texture.
‘Mancunian Way (18)’ by Sue Mann was my second favourite piece due to the familiarity of the place, the scene being set at night and the way the colours were used for vibrancy and detail.
My favourite piece was ‘Seafoam (460)’ by Vega Maguire, it looked like the layers of an ocean created using different types of wool, techniques and designs which varied between pieces of crochet, pom poms, tassles and woven wool in shades of blue, white and cream, displayed in an embroidery hoop.
My peers and I discussed the different art pieces that we liked, disliked or just simply respected. I personally disliked the pieces of art with nudity; I found them weird and uncomfortable because of the exposure. I also disliked the distasteful language used in some pieces.
I found the exhibition interesting and a large representation of various art forms from so many different views and perspectives. The gallery staff were welcoming and keen to help. The art pieces were all listed for sale in a catalogue given to us on entry, listings ranged from £14 to £10,000 which was pretty surprising. I would recommend visits to this Open Exhibition.